The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread
Apr 16, 2015 at 11:09 AM Post #18,121 of 28,587

uchihaitachi

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Posts
2,472
Likes
399
  Just curious, what recordings did you listen too? I am always on the lookout for reference piano music recommendations for listening on the HD800s.

Krystian Zimerman's recordings are always well mastered! I was listening to his Chopin Ballades.
 
Apr 16, 2015 at 11:22 AM Post #18,122 of 28,587

icebear

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 9, 2014
Posts
1,640
Likes
360
  Just got the HD800, it's the best reproduction of piano sound I have ever heard. Mind blown.

 
 
  I think so, especially all the minutiae of detail comes to life.... I can even make out the pedalling...

 
There is an old thread on Rachmaninov's 3rd where you also have posted but that was 2013...commenting that you did not like Argerich's interpretation.
I guess you can play it yourself and follow the score closely.
 
I discovered this recording :
http://www.head-fi.org/t/47019/rachmaninoffs-3rd-piano-concerto/30#post_11476739
I am not a musician and can't judge if she is not following the score exactely. A few "liberties" are mentioned in the booklet.
I am not bothered by that, I simply indulge in this recording expecially with the HD800.
 
Btw where do you have all your Focals set up? Do you have a former factory space for your rig?
wink.gif
 
And of course : Congrats to your new HD800
beerchug.gif

 
Apr 16, 2015 at 11:30 AM Post #18,123 of 28,587

uchihaitachi

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Posts
2,472
Likes
399
   
 
 
There is an old thread on Rachmaninov's 3rd where you also have posted but that was 2013...commenting that you did not like Argerich's interpretation.
I guess you can play it yourself and follow the score closely.
 
I discovered this recording :
http://www.head-fi.org/t/47019/rachmaninoffs-3rd-piano-concerto/30#post_11476739
I am not a musician and can't judge if she is not following the score exactely. A few "liberties" are mentioned in the booklet.
I am not bothered by that, I simply indulge in this recording expecially with the HD800.
 
Btw where do you have all your Focals set up? Do you have a former factory space for your rig?
wink.gif
 
And of course : Congrats to your new HD800
beerchug.gif

I have actually performed the Rach 3, one at the end of College recital with a second piano and one with a full orchestra in Korea. The only reason I don't like her performance is that she uses the piece especially in the third movement as just a vehicle to show off her technical prowess. Which admittedly is astonishing (especially as it's live), but I think she has so much more on offer than that. 
 
You should check out Leif Ove Andsnes' recording which was also done live, incredibly musical and immaculate (not a single wrong note) from start to end!
 
Focals aren't actually mine but my father's. He has a studio/small concert hall in Korea as he is a music and audio maniac, and Focal also use the venue to market their products. Unfortunately, not many interested buyers XD
 
Apr 16, 2015 at 12:01 PM Post #18,126 of 28,587

shabta

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Posts
701
Likes
929
   
 
You should check out Leif Ove Andsnes' recording which was also done live, incredibly musical and immaculate (not a single wrong note) from start to end!
 
 

I have the one he did with the Berlin Philharmonic. It also sounds fab on the HD800s. He is technically amazing. 
 
Apr 16, 2015 at 1:08 PM Post #18,128 of 28,587

shabta

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Posts
701
Likes
929
He also recorded 3&4 it was released separately.

Last week a friend was here and I used the Leif Ove Andsnes hi-res recording of the Emperor for an HD80p demo. Blew him away both sound and performance.
 
Apr 16, 2015 at 3:01 PM Post #18,129 of 28,587

knowhatimean

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 16, 2011
Posts
839
Likes
135
He also recorded 3&4 it was released separately.

Last week a friend was here and I used the Leif Ove Andsnes hi-res recording of the Emperor for an HD80p demo. Blew him away both sound and performance.

Is that on EMI ?
 
The "Emperor" is one of those pieces you can never have enough versions of ! as long as the pianist doesn't let the conductor dictate the pace at which the addagio is taken the "version" normally works for me !
 
I think it should be a requirement that all concert artists familiarize themselves with the Kempf / Leitner "Emperor" as the pinnacle
of correctly playing this movement for capturing the essence of Beethoven's writing !
 
(Wow, I didn't notice someone mentioning the Rachmaninoff 3rd with Berglund; I'll have to look these recordings up on Arkiv Music)
 
Apr 16, 2015 at 3:23 PM Post #18,130 of 28,587

shabta

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Posts
701
Likes
929
The Rachmaninov is on EMI, the Beethoven on Sony
 
Apr 16, 2015 at 10:51 PM Post #18,131 of 28,587

ruthieandjohn

Stumbling towards enlightenment
(Formerly known as kayandjohn.)
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Posts
4,139
Likes
2,745
Location
Poulsbo, WA, USA
  I continue my quest to use my HD 800s as portable headphones, at least for wearing while doing work indoors at home.  This means I need a portable amp, and an earlier question elicted the Meier Audio Corda Quickstep as a great contender.
  But now that I started using the Sony PHA-1 portable DAC / amp I already had and am VERY Pleased with its sound as compared to my reference HDVD 800, I am looking for a combination portable DAC / amp, not just amp alone.
  Desired characteristics:
  1. Better than the PHA-1 in sound quality on the Sennheiser HD 800 (that's gonna be HARD!)
  2. DAC and amp
  3. Direct Apple interface with 30-pin  iPod connector and 8-pin Lightening connector
  4. Form factor making it stackable with iPod
  5. Line In (for cases where I already have a well-produced analog signal
  6.  
Candidates I've been looking at include the HiFI M8 iPhone version, the Fostex HP-P1, and... well... that's it.  Geek Out 1000 looks good but does not have iDevice input (as I understand it); Chord Hugo is probably great but unaffordable (I'm looking for around $400 - $700 new; used for less is OK).
 
Any other suggestions?  Is there an iDevice / DAC version of the Meier Audio Corda Quickstep that was earlier recommended as an amp?
 
Thanks!!

 
 
PORTABLE iDEVICE DAC/AMP FOR HD 800
 
OK... five days of research are leading me to answer my own question:
 
Following table compiles the results of my research.  Columns are explained as follows:
  1. Manufacturer:  Company building the device
  2. Model:  Model name of the device
  3. iPod?: Does device connect directly to either 30-pin of older iPods or 8-pin of newer (if so, "Y"), or  is it a general USB input that requires the Apple Camera Cable Kit (CCK) (if so, "CCK")
  4. Battery? Does device have a battery inside that is charged via USB ("Y"), or does it rely on USB power (limiting its use from an iDevice, due to overloading its connector power ("N)?
  5. Output imp (ohms):  What is the output impedance, if provided (in ohms)?
  6. Output power, sum 2 channels (at ohms):  What is the listed output power (for load of impedance of ohms listed in parentheses)?  In milliwatts, sum of both channels.
  7. Power into 300 ohms, 2 ch (est if in parens):  What is the output power into the nominal 300 ohms of the HD 800 headphone (may be extrapolated or computed, if spec sheet does not specifically say... such estimates are enclosed in parentheses, while stated power at 300 ohms is shown without parentheses)
  8. Trusted reports for:  Someone trustworthy (often, but not always, jude in his 2014 Gift Guide Portable DAC/Amp section) say the DAC/amp works with specific difficult headphones (usu. HD 800, sometimes HE-6 as well)
  9. Size (mm):  Listed in decreasing order of dimension, longest dimension first
  10. Weight (gr):   When given
  11. Price: From amazon.com or manufacturer website, USD
  12.  
So here is the table.  I limited this to portable DAC/amp combinations.
 
Portable DAC/Amps Compatible with iDevice (iPod, etc.) and Sennheiser HD 800
 
Manufacturer
Model
iPod?
Battery?
Output imp (ohms)
Output power, sum 2 channels (at ohms)
Power into 300 ohms, 2 ch (est if in parens)
Trusted reports for
Size (mm)
Weight (gr)
Price
CEntrance​
HiFi M8​
Y​
Y​
1, 2 11​
1,400 mW (8 ohm)​
166​
HD 800​
127x82x33​
 ​
$699​
CEntrance​
DACPort​
CCK​
N​
 ​
1,500 max​
(166)​
 ​
114x25x25​
 ​
$250​
Aurender​
Flow​
Y​
Y​
0.06​
380 (32)​
174​
HD 800​
137x80x28​
450​
$1,295​
Chord​
Hugo​
Y​
Y​
0.075​
700 (8)​
140​
HD 800​
132x100x20​
400​
$2,500​
iFi Audio​
Micro iDSD​
CCK​
Y​
<1​
4,000​
(250)​
HD 800, HE-6​
177x67x28​
310​
$500​
Sony​
PHA-1​
Y​
Y​
10​
350 (8)​
52​
 ​
130x67x28​
220​
$250​
Sony​
PHA-1A​
Y​
Y​
 ​
296 (8)​
33​
 ​
109x62x19​
145​
$300​
Sony​
PHA-2​
Y​
Y​
 ​
330 (8);180 (32)​
50​
 ​
140x68x29​
270​
$409​
Sony​
PHA-3​
Y​
Y​
 ​
640 (32 ohm balanced)​
(150)​
NOT for HD800​
141x80x29​
300​
$999​
JDS Labs​
CSD​
CCK​
Y​
0.62​
4.146 V (600)​
(50)​
 ​
100x62x14​
116​
$249​
Fostex​
HP-P1​
Y​
Y​
 ​
160​
(160)​
 ​
130x75x25​
260​
$450​
iQube​
V5​
CCK​
Y​
<0.1​
160 (16); 80 (32); 12 (200)​
(8)​
NOT for HD800​
126x70x23​
190​
$699​
LH Labs​
GeekOut1000​
CCK​
N​
.47, 4.7​
1000 (16)​
(140)​
HD 800 (PTAF)​
78x35x13​
36​
$299​
FurutechADL​
X1​
Y​
Y​
 ​
60 (16)​
36​
 ​
118x68x17​
147​
$479​
HeadAmp​
Pico USB​
CCK​
Y​
<1​
700 (32)​
(340)​
"the difficult"​
70x51x20​
 ​
$468​
Leckerton​
UHA-6S.MKII​
CCK​
Y​
<0.5​
55(32)[8610 op amp];140(32)[8620]​
40 (either op amp)​
 ​
106x70x20​
170​
$279​
Headstage​
Arrow​
CCK​
Y​
 ​
"Max 10 V P-to-P"​
 ​
 ​
98x56x8.5​
100​
$399​
Oppo​
HA-2​
Y​
Y​
0.5​
300 (16); 220 (32), 30 (300)​
30​
HD 800​
157x68x12​
175​
$299​
Cypher Labs​
Theorem 720​
Y​
Y​
< 1​
205 (32); 320 (50)​
68​
 ​
120x64x29​
300​
$699​
 
I have the PHA-1, and I have compared its sound driving my HD 800s to the sound of my Sennheiser HDVD 800 amp, one of the best suited for the Sennheiser HD 800s.
 
The sound of the two is indistinguishable, at least to me.  Bass, mids, treble, and transparency are the same.  The only difference is in the soundstage, which for the HDVD 800 amp is larger with more precise positioning of instruments than the Sony PHA-1.
 
Apr 17, 2015 at 3:11 AM Post #18,133 of 28,587

uchihaitachi

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Posts
2,472
Likes
399
[quote name="uchihaitachi" url="/t/65051
0/the-new-hd800-impressions-thread/18120#post_11518386"]How about the immaculately transparent Leckerton Uha 6s mkii and just tun it out of LOD[/quote]
 
Apr 17, 2015 at 3:40 AM Post #18,134 of 28,587

Sorrodje

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Sep 21, 2012
Posts
2,614
Likes
915
How about the immaculately transparent Leckerton Uha 6s mkii

 
This one is really on my radar. I rarely see a so unanimely praised product. 
 
Apr 17, 2015 at 3:48 AM Post #18,135 of 28,587

uchihaitachi

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Posts
2,472
Likes
399
The designer is a serious engineer with a properly analysed specs sheet for all his products. What's there not to drool over :)
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top